Skip to content

Acupuncture and Acupressure: Can They Help You Get a Good Night's Sleep?

I get asked pretty frequently about alternative therapies to treat sleep problems. While drugs do have their place in treating some types of sleep disorders, there’s something to be said for the array of so-called alternative methods that don’t entail pharmaceuticals but do, in fact, support restful sleep.

  • Acupuncture, for example, has been used to treat insomnia for centuries in China, and clinical studies have shown that acupuncture may have a beneficial effect on insomnia compared with Western medication. And for those who need more solid proof, a recent study just confirmed this finding again.
  • Acupressure, which is based on acupuncture but does not entail needles (instead, physical pressure is applied to the acupuncture points), also has shown promise in helping people beat insomnia. And another recent study confirmed this when it looked at the sleep-friendly effects that acupressure had on people who live in long-term care facilities. Acupressure on the HT7 point (a particular point on the body) may improve insomnia for up to 2 weeks after the intervention.

But alternative methods to pharmaceutical or even over the counter medication go far beyond just acupuncture and acupressure. When you consider all the other drug-free strategies for restful sleep, you’ll find that the vast majority of techniques used to support sleep hygiene could be considered “alternative”, such as:

  • Aromatherapy: employing the power of scent to lull you to sleep.
  • Sound machines: employing the power of white noise.
  • Taking a warm bath or sitting in a hot tub or sauna before bedtime.

And my favorite one of all: quitting all forms of work and stimulating activities within an hour of bedtime and just relaxing. And there’s nothing “alternative” about that.

Sweet Dreams,

Michael J. Breus, PhD
The Sleep Doctorâ„¢
www.thesleepdoctor.com

Get tips for a good night’s sleep from the WebMD Sleep Well newsletter.

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD Second Opinion are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Second Opinion are... Expand

Newsletters

Subscribe to free WebMD newsletters.

  • WebMD Daily

    WebMD Daily

    Subscribe to the WebMD Daily, and you'll get today's top health news and trending topics, and the latest and best information from WebMD.

  • Men's Health

    Men's Health

    Subscribe to the Men's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, nutrition, and more from WebMD.

  • Women's Health

    Women's Health

    Subscribe to the Women's Health newsletter for the latest on disease prevention, fitness, sex, diet, anti-aging, and more from WebMD.

By clicking Submit, I agree to the WebMD Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices